RCA Secret: Can You Spot a Famous Artist in the Crowd?

Simone Rowat

It’s not very often that you get to purchase a famous artists work at a bargain price. Most of the time those are the stories we here about in the news: “Picasso purchased for $26 at yard sale – new owner as surprised as the world.” The long running RCA Secret offers you almost the same chance. The annual sale, hosted by London’s Royal College of Arts, featured 2700 postcard sized artworks this year, some from students, others from often famous invited guests. The catch? The name of the artist is only revealed after you buy the piece. So, can you spot a Paula Rego at 20 paces?

Famous names that had art featured in the massive one-day sale were artists Yinka Shonibare, John Baldessari, David Bailey, Christo, Paula Rego, Frank Bowling and Julian Opie as well as architect Zaha Hadid, fashion designers Christopher Bailey, Manolo Blahnik and Paul Smith, and Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park. There artworks were priced at the same £45 as student work, with all proceeds going to support the RCA Fine Art Student Award Fund. It’s a seriously fun and clever way to help up-and-coming artists… many of whom themselves contributed art to the show.

So here’s the question: of the 25 artworks we selected to feature here, can you spot the famous names in the group? (hover your pointer over each image to reveal the artist)

Dorthe Kaergaard

Frank Bowling

John Baldessari 1

Aaron Stanley

Beatrice Haines

Christina Wrege


Christopher Bailey

Di Oliver

Julia Curtin

Karl Kuznetsov

Laura Napier

Lucinda Beatrice Antonia Mazhari

Manolo Blahnik

Michael Stubbs

Niamh Clancy

Nick Park

Nina Katan

Norman Messenger

Orla Kiely

Paula Rego 1

Richard Colson

Theodore Ereira-Guyer

Zaha Hadid

Benjamin Starr

Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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